Latest Data Shows Minors Responsible for 16% of All Violent Crime

Published: April 30, 2009

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justices and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released Juvenile Arrests 2007. The report summarizes juvenile crime and arrest data reported by local law enforcement agencies across the country and cited in the FBI report, Crime in the United States 2007.

In 2007, law enforcement agencies in the United States made an estimated 2.18 million arrests of persons under age 18. Overall, there were 2 percent fewer juvenile arrests in 2007 than in 2006, and juvenile violent crime arrests declined 3 percent, reversing a recent upward trend. Juveniles accounted for 16 percent of all violent crime arrests and 26 percent of all property crime arrests in 2007.

Juvenile arrest rates, particularly Violent Crime Index rates, had increased in 2005 and again in 2006 amid fears that the Nation was on the brink of another juvenile crime wave. These latest data show increases in some offense categories but declines in most – with most changes being less than 10 percent in either direction.

Other recent findings from the UCR Program include the following:

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  • Juveniles were involved in 12 percent of all violent crimes cleared in 2007 and 18 percent of property crimes cleared.
  • In 2007, 11 percent (1,810) of all murder victims were under age 18. More than one-third (35 percent) of all juvenile murder victims were under age 5, but this proportion varied widely across demographic groups.
  • The juvenile murder arrest rate in 2007 was 4.1 arrests per 100,000 juveniles ages 10 through 17. This was 24 percent more than the 2004 low of 3.3, but 72 percent less than the 1993 peak of 14.4.
  • Between 1998 and 2007, juvenile arrests for aggravated assault decreased more for males than for females (22 percent vs. 17 percent). During this period, juvenile male arrests for simple assault declined 4 percent and female arrests increased 10 percent.
  • In 2007, although black youth accounted for just 17 percent of the youth population ages 10 through 17, black juveniles were involved in 51 percent of juvenile Violent Crime Index arrests and 32 percent of juvenile Property Crime Index arrests.
  • The 2007 arrest rates for Violent Crime Index offenses were substantially lower than the rates in the 1994 peak year for every age group under 40.

Click here to read the full report.

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